Weighted ball question

Okay so I’m doing weighted ball workouts. They involve the backward chaining drills that Lanky had on his log. However after I’m doing them, my arm seems to be slow. I was thinking that this could be changed by doing decelerator exercises since maybe my arm can’t speed up since it can’t slow down. And if so, how often should I do weighted balls to decelerator exercises, i was personally thinking about 2:1 but give me some feedback.

Now I DON’T want this to get into a debate about weighted balls and I don’t want somebody to say I shouldn’t use them. PLEASE just answer the question.

Are you throwing heavy, light, and then normal weight ball – in that order?

You want to throw the heavy ball first b/c it slows the arm down. Then follow it with the light ball which speeds the arm up. Then finish with a regular baseball.

But you could be doing a different wb program than what I did in the off-season. Not sure how backward chaining has anything to do with it.

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]Are you throwing heavy, light, and then normal weight ball – in that order?

You want to throw the heavy ball first b/c it slows the arm down. Then follow it with the light ball which speeds the arm up. Then finish with a regular baseball.

But you could be doing a different wb program than what I did in the off-season. Not sure how backward chaining has anything to do with it.[/quote]

I don’t use a lighter ball and I guess that might explain some of it. I got the backward chaining idea from Lanky and he seemed to think they worked so I decided to try it.

My understanding of the weighted ball approach is that it’s not as much about strengthening the arm via the heavy ball as it is about neuromuscular patterning to get the mind/body trained to a faster arm speed via the lighter ball thrown after the heavy ball. Finishing with the regulation ball is just a matter of transferring the faster arm speed to the regulation ball.

Exactly.

Exactly.[/quote]

yup.

also don’t just do something because I’m doing it. Could be helpful to make sure you know exactly what approach one is using rather than just imitating the few pieces of it that you can see.

Exactly.[/quote]

yup.

also don’t just do something because I’m doing it. Could be helpful to make sure you know exactly what approach one is using rather than just imitating the few pieces of it that you can see.[/quote]

Well then could you explain the approach you are using with the backward chaining/ weighted ball stuff?

Exactly.[/quote]

yup.

also don’t just do something because I’m doing it. Could be helpful to make sure you know exactly what approach one is using rather than just imitating the few pieces of it that you can see.[/quote]

Well then could you explain the approach you are using with the backward chaining/ weighted ball stuff?[/quote]

the backwards chaining drills are a progression. You work from the back of the delivery to the front. The point is to master one drill and then move on to the next in small steps. Radar feedback along the way ensures that you are picking up velocity from drill to drill (as you should) and transferring mechanical efficiency from drill to drill.

The point is NOT (and I’m not saying you are or aren’t doing this) to take 5-10 drills and just do each and think you are getting better. Start with BC 1, move on to BC 2/3, then turn sideways to the target and get the hips involved while staying connected like you learned in the snapthrow drill (BC 3), then BC 6 which adds in a slight knee turn to load and unload the pelvis. From there I like to go to wolforth’s “hookum” drill which is kind of another step back in the kinetic chain, then after that I go to the stretch to try to put it all together. Radar feedback always along the way.

I don’t use all of the wolforth drills (in fact, only a couple now). I tried out all of them and chose the ones that worked for me and that I felt had the best transfer to the mound.

By master you mean, be able to throw hard with it? or be able to hit spots with it?

My .02…

Weighted balls may best be used when you have your mechanics down to the point where you have the most efficient delivery possible.

Every piece of slack is gone, and you are loading and unloading as “perfectly” as you can. Precise rhythm and timing.

When you need to speed up the arm is when they might be the most beneficial.

There is some merit to them when they are used to “find and correct” mechanical inefficiencies (using the heavier balls the “en-grain” a more efficient arm path) though.

This can also be done with drill work, video feedback, radar feedback and a watchful eye.

The concern is when people try to use them as a “short cut” to try to achieve higher velocity without looking at they way they are throwing.

[quote=“101mph”]My .02…

Weighted balls may best be used when you have your mechanics down to the point where you have the most efficient delivery possible.

Every piece of slack is gone, and you are loading and unloading as “perfectly” as you can. Precise rhythm and timing.

When you need to speed up the arm is when they might be the most beneficial.

There is some merit to them when they are used to “find and correct” mechanical inefficiencies (using the heavier balls the “en-grain” a more efficient arm path) though.

This can also be done with drill work, video feedback, radar feedback and a watchful eye.

The concern is when people try to use them as a “short cut” to try to achieve higher velocity without looking at they way they are throwing.[/quote]

good insight! I’ll agree that while they may stand alone for some as the only tool needed to reaching higher velocities, these seem to be the players that already had decent arm actions and other mechanical “guard rails” so to speak. Throwing the weighted balls then further ingrained these mechanics and taught the player’s CNS how to recruit more motor units etc.

However, if the basics are not there (arm action, pelvic action, etc) weighted balls may not be the best primary tool for developing high level throwing mechs (i.e. video tape might be a more crucial piece of the puzzle for certain players)

and by master each piece of the puzzle I only meant get comfortable enough with the feel of it that you can transfer the drill on to the next one.

A high level throw exhibits many characteristics. Ideally you want to see all of those characteristic that should be present in that segment of the kinetic chain for each specific drill. In BC 1 dont move on to BC 2 until you see the proper external rotation. In BC 2 dont move on until you’ve gotten your arm action quick (15-18 frames), and maintained the external rotation and whip you worked on in BC 1, etc.

Obviously this is not set in stone, but its the basic idea.